This time of year marks the start of the school year in Colombia. Whereas in the U.S., kids head back in late August or early September, kids here get to complain about going to bed early again towards the middle-to-end of January. What tipped me off to the back-to-school season was the typical ads you see everywhere around that time of year. Here's an example in a shoe-store window (note that it actually says "back to school" in English):
I haven't been able to learn exactly why schools in Colombia start in January. I've heard a couple of different theories (guesses?) but they don't really explain why the schedule is so different than the other countries in the world with which I'm familiar. Overall, the school year is a little longer than in the U.S. and runs from January to November with a three-week June break.
Walking around town, I took a couple of pictures inside papelerias (stationary stores) where people were shopping for school supplies. In this one you can see backpacks, pens, notebooks, and so on:
And this one shows better just how crowded the stores were over the weekend:
I saw lots of kids and parents in the streets walking to school on Monday morning but there were no good photos to share. I'm just glad that I didn't have to go back school this week. To celebrate my good fortune, I'm going to stay up late each night this week!